Baku, May 18, AZERTAC
Ali Khamis Khamis capped off a scintillating day for Bahrain at the fourth Islamic Solidarity Games as he landed his country's third athletics gold medal with victory in the men's 400-metre final.
The Asian Games champion from Incheon three years ago was pushed all the way by Winston George, but he moved past the Guyana athlete on the final straight to claim gold in 45.54 seconds in a thrilling race.
George, who has another chance of gold in Thursday's 200-metre final, claimed silver in 45.69s ahead of the Iranian bronze medallist Ali Khadivar.
Khamis added to earlier Bahraini victories for Oluwakemi Adekoya (women's 400-metre hurdles) and Ruth Jemet (women's 3000-metre steeplechase) on a golden day for the Gulf state.
Adekoya was hot favourite to add to her Asian Games and Asian Championship titles in the women's 400-metre hurdles, and she cantered to an impressive time of 54.68 seconds, just 8 hundredths off her personal best.
She had too much for the rest with Nigeria's Glory Onome Nathaniel (55.90secs) over a second behind, while Aminat Jamal ensured there were two Bahrainis on the podium as she took bronze.
Olympic champion Jebet got Bahrain off and running in the morning session as she cruised to the 3000-metre steeplechase title.
Her time of 9 minutes 15.41 seconds was over 21 seconds off her own world record she set in Paris last year, but she looked effortless as she beat Algerian silver medallist Amina Bettiche by over 10 seconds. Tigest Mekonen of Burundi clinched bronze.
Saudi Arabia's Ahmed Almuwallad earned a superb gold in the men's 110-metre hurdles ahead of Azerbaijan's European Games silver medallist Rahib Mammadov.
Almuwallad's time of 13.68s was just 8 hundredths shy of his personal best, while Iraqi Mohammed Sad Al-Khfaji finished strongly to earn bronze.
It was another good day for the host nation Azerbaijan as they chalked up three more athletics golds to make it seven in total.
Nazim Babayev leapt 17.15 metres in the men's triple jump final to snatch gold ahead of compatriot Alexis Copello (16.90m). Suriname's Miguel Van Assen did enough for bronze.
Elmir Jabrayilov delivered gold for the hosts in the men's 100-metre T12 disability final as he broke the 11-second barrier.
Jabrayilov posted 10.98 seconds to surge past Uzbek silver medallist Mansur Abdirashidov (11.25s) and Morocco's Mahdi Afri who took bronze.
Samir Nabiyev had earlier won the Azeris' first gold of the day and his second of the Games with a huge throw of 45.17 metres in the men's F57 discus F57 final. He also won the shot put F57 title on Tuesday. Iran's Ali Mohammadyari won the other men's disability discus final (F56) with 43.08 metres.
Morocco secured their second athletics gold of the Games as Malika Akkaoui took the glory in the women's 800-metre final.
Akkaoui outlasted Uganda's Halimah Nakaayi by just over half a second to win in 2 minutes 01.04 seconds.
Nakaayi's silver is only Uganda's second medal at an Islamic Solidarity Games, while Noelie Yarigo picked up bronze for Benin, their first-ever medal in these Games.
Cameroon's Auriol Dongmo Mekemnang powered her way to gold in the women's shot put final with a season's best launch of 17.75 metres.
Dongmo Mekemnang, who finished 12th in the Olympic final, achieved the score on her third and fifth throws to finish 13 centimetres ahead of European Championship bronze medallist Emel Dereli of Turkey. Bronze went to Bahrain's Noora Salem Jasim.
Turkey's female pole vaulters could not be separated as Buse Arikazan and Demet Parlak both sealed golds with identical jumps of 4.15 metres in their final rounds. Tunisia's Syrine Balti cleared 4.00 metres as she settled for bronze.
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